There are a few different ways to empty a kayak that is full of water. This how-to addresses how to empty a whitewater kayak that has been water logged.
Time Required: 5 Minutes
- Get the Kayak to Shore: The first step to empty a kayak that is full of water, of course, is to get the kayak to the shore. This can be done by swimming with it and pulling it to shore. If you have the aid of a fellow paddler, they can either push your kayak to shore with the nose of their kayak or they may clip a rope to your kayak and tow it to shore.
- Roll the Kayak Into the Upright Position: If the kayak is not upright already, flip it over. Grab the kayak’s cockpit from underneath and pull up on it slowly so as to break the suction it has with the water. Once the seal between the cockpit and the water is broken begin to roll it over while allowing the water to partially drain out.
- Place the Bow on Land: Orient the kayak that is full of water so that the bow is on land or a rock. Climb onto land and pull the kayak using the grab loop if you must. Leave the stern of the kayak in the water.
- Flip the Kayak Upside Down: This may sound counter intuitive, but the kayak must be upside down in order to efficiently empty the kayak of the water. Flip the kayak over without being concerned if more water enters the kayak in the process.
- Lift Up on the Stern of the Kayak: With the kayak upside down and with the bow elevated on land or a rock, lift up on the stern of the kayak. Be sure to use the legs and not the back to lift the boat. This will begin to empty the kayak of the water that is in it. Repeat this motion like a teater-totter, allow the water to move from bow to stern thereby emptying out the kayak of the water.
- Roll the Kayak Upright: With as much water out of the kayak as Step 5 will allow, lift the stern up again and roll the kayak back upright. Whatever water is left in the kayak at this point can be removed through the drain plug if the boat has one or with a sponge.
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